US 6068425 A
A method and apparatus for raising concrete members and maintaining the members in a raised position. The method and apparatus may be utilized for raising or leveling flat slabs such as sidewalk sections, driveways and patios or for raising sunken sections of curbs and gutters, and the apparatus includes a portable mud pump to provide grout or mud under the raised members for maintaining same in the raised position. The method is carried out by attaching the sunken member to an apparatus including one or more lifting jacks, raising the member by the jacks, and at least partially filling the cavity under the member with a grout or mud. The portable mud pump, which includes a limit switch controlled double-acting air driven piston, is connected to a mud or grout supply (tank) having a check valve, and withdraws mud from the tank during an intake stroke and forces the mud, during a power or output stroke, into a cavity under a raised concrete member.
1. A method for raising sunken curb and gutter sections, comprising:
forming at least one hole in and spaced from an end of the curb,
forming at east one hole in and spaced from an end of the gutter,
installing connector members in the holes,
providing a pair of lifting devices,
attaching a lifting device to each of the connector members,
activating the lifting device to raise the sunken curb and gutter section to a first position,
holding the curb and gutter section in the first position for a time period,
partially lowering the curb and gutter section from the first position,
activating the lifting device to raise the sunken curb and gutter section to a second position,
holding the curb and gutter section in the second position for a time period,
partially lowering the curb and gutter section from the second position,
repeating the raising, holding, lowering operations as needed to raise the curb and gutter section to a desired raised position,
supplying material under the raised curb and gutter section to at least partially fill a cavity formed beneath the raised curb and gutter section to maintain the curb and gutter section in the raised position, and
removing the lifting device and the connector members.
2. The method of claim 1, additionally including filling the holes in the curb and gutter.
3. The method of claim 1, wherein forming the hole in the curb is carried out such that the hole is about 4 inches from the end of the curb.
4. The method of claim 1, wherein forming the hole in the gutter is carried out such that the hole is about 5-6 inches from the curb.
5. The method of claim 4, wherein the hole in the gutter is formed about 4 inches from the end of the gutter.
6. The method of claim 1, wherein forming the holes in the curb and gutter is carried out by drilling.
7. The method of claim 1, wherein attaching the connector members in the holes is carried out by positioning an anchor in each hole and positioning an eye bolt in each anchor.
8. The method of claim 1, wherein providing the pair of lifting devices is carried out by providing a pair of jacks, a pair of pole saddles, a pair of poles, and a pair of chains.
9. The method of claim 8, wherein attaching a lifting device to each connector member is carried out by positioning the pair of jacks on a curb and on a gutter of an adjacent curb and gutter section, positioning the pole saddles on the jacks, positioning one end of the poles on the pole saddles and on an opposite end of the sunken curb and gutter section, extending the chains around the poles, and attaching the chains to the connector members using removable members.
10. The method of claim 1, wherein supplying a material under the raised curb and gutter section is carried out by forming a hole adjacent the raised curb and gutter section, inserting a hose in the hole and into the cavity formed beneath the raised curb and gutter section, and pumping the material through the hose into the cavity.
11. The method of claim 10, wherein pumping the material is carried out using a portable material pump.
12. The method of claim 11, wherein the portable material pump is an electrically controlled air driven reciprocating piston pump and includes a valve assembly for reversing the direction of movement of the reciprocating piston thereof to form repetitive material intake strokes and material pump strokes.
13. The method of claim 1, wherein supplying a material under the raised curb and gutter section is carried out by forming a hole in the gutter and filling the cavity formed beneath the raised curb and gutter section by pumping the material through the hole and into the cavity.
14. The method of claim 13, wherein the pumping of the material is carried out by using a small, portable, electrically controlled, air driven, reciprocating piston type pump.
15. The method of claim 14, wherein the material is stored in a tank and drawn from the tank via a check valve when the reciprocating piston of the pump is moving in one direction and the material is pumped into the cavity when the reciprocating piston of the pump is moved in an opposite direction.
16. The method of claim 1, wherein supplying material under the raised curb and gutter involves providing a portable pump comprising:
an air cylinder,
a pump body,
the air cylinder and pump body being connected end-to-end,
a dual piston assembly reciprocally mounted in the air cylinder and pump body,
an air supply,
a valve assembly for controlling said air supply to opposite ends of the air cylinder for producing an intake stroke and a pumping stroke of the dual piston assembly,
a material supply tank,
a one way check valve located intermediate the pump body and the material supply tank, and
said pump body having a discharge section through which the material is pumped into the cavity under the raised curb and gutter section.
17. The method of claim 1, additionally including forming the material from the group consisting of sand, cement, clay and lime.
18. The method of claim 1, additionally including pumping material under the sunken curb and gutter section following the first raising operation to assist in raising the sunken curb and gutter section.
The present invention is directed to an apparatus and method for raising concrete slabs or curb and gutter sections utilizing a portable mud pump. Sunken concrete members can be raised to their original position and retained in the raised position by mud or grout pumped thereunder, and the concrete member repositioned to its original location. The apparatus utilized for carrying out the concrete repositioning includes conventional concrete drills, inserts, connectors, chains and lifting devices, and in addition utilizes a portable mud pump which basically consists of an air cylinder and pump body with a reciprocating piston therein, and a reversing valve assembly.
The mud pump is small in size so as to be carried in a corner of a pickup truck bed, and which can deliver a sufficient pressure and flow rate to quickly fill cavities formed under the raised concrete members. In addition, the portable mud pump is easily cleaned and maintained. The air cylinder includes a reciprocating piston connected to the piston of the pump body and which is reciprocated by directing a pneumatic fluid, such as air or gas, to opposite sides of the air cylinder piston, which causes the pump body piston to draw mud or grout from a tank during the intake stroke and forcing or pumping that mud through a hose or pipe during the output or power stroke, whereby the mud is forced through the hose or pipe to a point of use, such as a cavity under a raised concrete member. At the end of the pump stroke, a limit switch actuates the valve assembly which reverses the air fluid causing the pump piston to return, thereby ingesting more mud (intake stroke) from the supply tank via a check valve. At the end of the intake stroke, a limit switch reverses the valve assembly and the cycle starts over again.
Referring now to the drawings, FIGS. 1A and 1B illustrate the intake and pump (output) strokes of an embodiment of the portable mud or grout pump assembly, generally indicated at 10, which comprises an air cylinder 11, a reversing valve assembly 12 for the air cylinder 11, a pump body 13 connected at one end to the air cylinder 11 and having a discharge line (generally indicated at 14), and a mud or grout supply tank 15 connected to the pump body 13 via a check valve 16. The air cylinder 11 and pump body 13 are constructed to include a double-headed piston assembly composed of a rod 17 and piston heads 18 and 19, with piston head 18 being located in air cylinder 11 and of a larger diameter than piston head 19 located in pump body 13. The reversing valve assembly 12 includes a cylinder 20 containing a shaft or rod 21 having spaced members 22, such as O-rings positioned thereon, with each end of cylinder 20 being connected by lines 23 and 24 to opposite ends of air cylinder 11, an air supply line 25 connected to cylinder 20, and control mechanisms 26 and 26' for shaft 21 located at one end of cylinder 20. Pump body 13 is connected to supply tank 15 via a line 27 in which check valve 16 is mounted. The discharge line 14 of pump body 13 may be of various lengths and may include an elbow 28 and nozzle or coupler 29 which is constructed to extend through an opening or drilled hole 30 in a concrete member 31 to deposit mud or grout from tank 15 to beneath the concrete member 31. The control mechanisms 26 and 26' for reversing valve assembly 12 are illustrated in greater detail in FIG. 4A and include an electric motor connected to a power supply via electrical leads (generally indicated at 32 and 32' in FIGS. 1A and 1B).
Referring to FIG. 1A, at initiation of an "intake stroke", the valve assembly 12 is activated by control mechanisms 26 and 26' to move the shaft 21 to the left allowing air (as indicated by arrows) to flow via supply line 25, cylinder 20 and line 23 into the left end of air cylinder 11 against piston head 18 (an intake stroke side). As the piston head 18 moves to the right (as indicated by arrow 33), it causes the piston head 19 to produce a suction in the left end of pump body 13 which causes the check valve 16 to open and mud or grout from tank 15 to flow (as indicated by arrows) into pump body 13 via line or pipe 27. As piston head 19 is drawn to the right end of pump body 13 (as indicated by arrow 33') by the air pressure applied against piston head 18 in air cylinder 11, the pump body 13 is filled with mud or grout from tank 15. When piston head 18 reaches a point in air cylinder 11, it contacts a limit switch (illustrated and described in FIG. 2) which causes the control mechanisms 26 and 26' to move the rod 21 in cylinder 20 which directs the air flow from supply line 25 through cylinder 20 and line 24 into the right end of air cylinder 11 and against the opposite side (power stroke side) of piston head 18 (as indicated by arrows in FIG. 1B) which initiates the "pump stroke". As the piston head 18 moves to the left, it moves piston head 19 to the left (as indicated by arrow 34) causing the mud or grout in pump body 13 to move toward the left, which closes the check valve 16 and forces the mud through discharge line 14, through opening 30 and under concrete member 31 (as indicated by arrow 35). At the end of the pump stroke, piston head 18 contacts a limit switch (see FIG. 2) which causes the control mechanisms to move shaft 21 to the left whereby another "intake stroke" is initiated (as shown in FIG. 1A) and the intake pump cycle is repeated until the desired amount of mud is deposited at the point of use.
FIG. 2 illustrates a detailed embodiment of an air cylinder of the portable mud pump of FIGS. 1A-1B (generally indicated at 11'), and which is adapted to be removably connected to a pump body (illustrated in detail in FIG. 3) as indicated by the dash-dot line 40 via a pump body connector assembly (generally indicated at 41 at the right end of air cylinder 11'). The piston head (such as piston head 18 in FIGS. 1A-1B) is illustrated in FIG. 2 as comprising a pair of piston cups with steel backing plates. Air cylinder 11' includes a cylindrical body member 42 connected at the left end to a member 43 and at the right end to a member 44 which is connected to pump body connector assembly 41. Connected to member 43 is an end cap or plate 45 in which is mounted an air connector or tab 46 adapted to be connected, for example, to line 24 of the reversing valve assembly 12 of FIGS. 1A-1B to direct air to air cylinder 11' to produce the power or pump stroke described above with respect to FIG. 1B. Also mounted in end cap 45 is a microswitch 47 having leads 48 connecting to a relay for the control mechanisms 26-26', of FIGS. 1A-1B, as described hereinafter with respect to FIG. 5. Pump Body connector assembly 41 includes a body or adapter or housing 49 defining an opening 50 in which a member 51 having an opening 51' is positioned, with a piston connector rod 17' extending through opening 51', with rod 17' being provided with a piston head 52 (piston 19 of FIGS. 1A-1B) having an O-ring 53 thereon. Rod 17' is also provided with an O-ring 54 located within member 51. Mounted in an opening 55 in housing 49 is an air connector or tab 56 adapted to be connected, for example, to line 23 of reversing valve assembly 12 of FIGS. 1A-1B to direct air to air cylinder 11' to produce the intake stroke described above with respect to FIG. 1A. Attached to the exterior of housing 49 are a plurality of pump body connectors 57 (only two shown). Mounted within members 41 and 44 is a member 44' on which a pair of microswitches 58 and 59 are mounted, with microswitch 59 being a backup, and microswitches 58 and 59 are connected by leads 60 which extend through housing 49 and into member 44 for connection to a relay, as described hereinafter with respect to FIG. 5. Also mounted to member 44' are a pair of return springs 61 which are positioned adjacent a limit actuator 62 located within member 44 and which function as a damper for the piston head in its power stroke and to assist the piston head, such as 18 of FIG. 1A (not shown) in its return or intake stroke.
A limit actuator 63 is pressed on shaft 17' against an adapter 69. Piston 18 of FIG. 1 comprises in this embodiment a pair of piston head cups 66 which are mounted back to back between an adapter 69 and a cap 68, with steel backing plates 67 located on the inside of each piston cup 66. An adapter 70 interconnects shaft 17' and adapter 69, and a connecting shaft 70' attaches cap 68 to adapter 69 through piston cups 66 and backing plates 67, with adapter 70 being threaded into adapter 69.
At the end of the power stroke, limit actuator 63 pushes a spring 65 against limit actuator 62 located in member 44, with spring 65 functioning as a damper to stop the piston 18 (piston cups 66) and to assist the piston 18 in its return or intake stroke when driven by air via intake tab 56.
FIG. 3 illustrates an embodiment of a pump body of a portable mud pump of FIGS. 1A-1B and a check valve (indicated at 16') adapted to connect the pump body (indicated at 13') to a mud or grout supply tank, such as tank 15 in FIGS. 1A-1B. Since check valves are conventionally known, further description of the valve 16' of FIGS. 1A-1B is deemed unnecessary. By way of example, the check valve 16' of FIG. 3 may be of a 2 inch type, which is of sufficient size to permit passage therethrough of the desired amount of mud or grout from a supply tank. As shown in FIG. 3, pump body 13' includes a cylinder 75 within which piston connector rod 17' and piston head 52 of FIG. 2 are located as indicated by the dash-dot line 40. Cylinder 75 is connected at one end to a Tee coupler 76 which is connected to a coupler 77 which may be connected to a discharge hose or assembly (such as shown at 14 in FIGS. 1A-1B) and to check valve 16' by a threaded coupler 78, with the check valve being connected to a threaded coupler 79 for connection to a mud or grout supply. An opposite end of cylinder 75 of pump body 13' is connected to a coupler assembly generally indicated at 80, which is adapted to be coupled (as indicated by the dash-dot line 40) to pump body connector assembly 41 of FIG. 2. Coupler assembly 80 includes a hollow housing or member 81 having a plurality of air cylinder connector members 82 (only two shown) mounted thereon and which include a ring member 83 adapted to contact and retain pump body connectors 57 of FIG. 2. The housing 81 of connector assembly 80 extends over member 51 and abuts housing 49 of pump body connector assembly 41 of FIG. 2 whereby ring members 83 can be attached to connectors 57 of FIG. 2. With the piston 52 (piston 19) positioned in pump body 75 of FIG. 3, the assembly of FIGS. 2 and 3 will function as described above with respect to FIGS. 1A-1B.
FIGS. 4A and 4B illustrate a detailed embodiment of a reversing valve assembly, such as valve assembly 12 of FIGS. 1A-1B. FIG. 4B is an enlarged view of the valve shaft or rod of FIG. 4A. As shown, the reversing valve assembly embodiment (indicated generally at 12') comprises two cylinders or tube sections 85 connected by a T-member 85' and secured to hollow end housing or body sections 86 and 87, with a valve shaft 21' extending through cylinder sections 85 and into end housing sections 86 and 87, and provided with spaced O-rings 22'. Cylinder sections 85 are provided with connectors 23', 24' and T-member 85' is provided with a connector 25', with connectors 23' and 24' being adapted to be connected to opposite ends of the air cylinder 11, and connector 25' being adapted to be connected to an air supply, similar to lines 23, 24 and 25 of FIGS. 1A-1B. Housing section 86 is provided with a pair of microswitches 88 and 89 having activator member 90 and 91 respectively, which are contacted by movement of valve shaft 21 and are connected by leads 92 and 93 to a relay of the control system of FIG. 5. Within housing section 87 is mounted a reversible (CW or CCW) electric motor 94 having electrical leads 95 connected to a relay of the control system of FIG. 5. Valve shaft 21' is provided at one end with a roll pin 96 via which shaft 21' is connected by a smaller roll pin 97 in a rod/shaft coupling 98 to motor 94 via a threaded rod or actuator shaft 99 and a threaded insert 100 and a spacer 101. In operation, as reversible motor 94 is actuated to rotate in one direction, the threaded rod 99 via threaded insert 100 and roll pins 96 and 97 within coupling 98 cause valve shaft 21' to move in one direction, and rotation of reversible motor 94 in an opposite direction causes valve shaft 21' to move in an opposite direction. Thus, the O-rings 22 on valve shaft 21' are moved along cylinder or tube section 85 so as to connect air input 25' to pump intake connector 23', or to connect air input 25' to pump power connector 24', whereby piston head 18 of FIGS. 1A-1B is driven by air flow in either its intake stroke or power (output) stroke, as described above with respect to FIGS. 1A-1B. The microswitches of the limit actuator 62 are constructed and positioned such that only the push buttons thereof are contacted, thus protecting the switches from excessive force.
FIG. 5 illustrates schematically an embodiment of a control system for the components of FIGS. 2, 3 and 4A-4B for controlling the portable mud pump of FIGS. 1A-1B. As shown in FIG. 5, a 12 volt dc power supply 110 is electrically connected to a relay 111 via an on/off switch 110' and leads 112 and 113. Leads 48 of microswitch 47 are electrically connected to one of the leads 93 of microswitch 91 and to a lead 114 of relay 111. leads 60 of microswitch 59 are electrically connected to a coil 115 of relay 111 via a lead 116 and to lead 112 of power supply 110 via a lead 117. Another of leads 93 of microswitch 91 is electrically connected to one of the leads 95 of motor 94. One of the leads 92 of microswitch 90 is connected to lead 93 of microswitch 91 and another of the leads 92 of microswitch 90 is connected to relay 111 via a lead 118. The other lead 95 of motor 94 is connected electrically to relay 111 via a lead 119. While FIG. 4A shows the microswitches 90 and 91 each having three (3) leads 92 and 93 respectively, one of the three leads of each microswitch can be connected to ground as indicated in FIG. 5.
By way of example, the major components of the air cylinder 11' of FIG. 2 may be constructed and sized as follows: Cylinder 42 being of plastic, such as polyvinylchloride (PVC), with an inner diameter of 3 to 4 inches, preferably 3 inches. Member being 44 made of PVC, having an inner diameter of 3 to 4 inches and an outer threaded end diameter of 3 to 4 inches. Housing 49 being made of PVC, with threaded inner diameter of 3 to 4 inches and outer diameter of 3 to 4 inches. Member 43 having an inner diameter of 3 to 4 inches and thread end of 3 to 4 inch diameter. End cap 45 being made of PVC, having an inner threaded diameter of 3 to 4 inches. Piston connector rod 17' may be hollow or solid, made of PVC or aluminum, having an outer diameter of 1 to 1.5 inches and length of 25 to 30 inches. Piston head 52 may be made of PVC or aluminum with an external diameter of 1.50 to 2.00 inches. The member or adapter 51 being made of PVC having an internal diameter of 1.00 to 1.25 inches and an external diameter of 1.25 to 1.50 inches. The piston cups 66 may be made of polyurethane or rubber, with piston head 18 (cups 66) having a diameter of 3 to 4 inches and thickness of 0.040 to 0.100, with piston head 19 being secured to the piston Connector rod by roll pin or by threaded connection. Limit actuators 62 and 63 may be made of PVC with inside diameters of 1.30 to 1.80 inch and outside diameter of 2.875 to 3.875 inches, and thickness of 0.50 to 1.00 inches. Cylinder 75 may be made of PVC, having an inner diameter of 2.0 to 3.0 inches and outer diameter of 2.35 to 3.60 inches. Coupler 76 may be made of PVC. Check valve 16' may be of a two inch size. Coupler assembly housing 81 may be made of PVC with an inner diameter of 2.3 to 3.5 inches and outer diameter of 3.5 to 4.8 inches. An adapter 81' connects housing 81 to pump body 75 and may be made of PVC with an inner diameter of 2.30 to 3.50 inches and an outer diameter of 3.25 to 4.50 inches. Cylinder section 85 may be made of PVC with an inner diameter of 1.0 to 1.5 inches, length of 10 to 20 inches, and secured to housing sections 86 and 87 such as by cement or pins. Housing sections 86 and 87 may be made of PVC with an outer diameter of 1.875 to 2.5 inches and length of 3.0 to 5.0 inches. Valve shaft 21' is solid, made of PVC, nylon or lucite, having a diameter of 0.45 to 0.75 inch and length of 12 to 15 inches. O-rings 22 may have an outer diameter of 0.55 to 0.77 inches. Motor 94 may be of a 12 volt direct current or AC reversing type with a horsepower rating of 0.01 to 0.10 being sufficient. The air supply to air line or connector 25 may have a pressure of 10 to 125 psi and produced such as by a small portable air compressor. The roll pin 96 in valve shaft 21' is, for example, 3/16 inch and is centered in the end of the coupling 98. The roll pin 97 is 1/16 inch and is centered at the end of coupling 98. The small diameter roll pin 97 is inside the larger roll pin 96 with a resulting gap of about 1/16 inch which acts to impact the shaft 21' when motor 94 is energized, overcoming static friction of the O-rings 22' against the cylinder or tube section 85. The threaded insert 100 is made of metal, such as aluminum, carbon steel or stainless steel. The spacer 101 is made of nylon, PVC or aluminum. The coupling 98 may be made of aluminum or steel. The mud or grout tank 15 may be of a 5 to 10 gallon size.
FIGS. 6-9 illustrate a method of raising a sunken section of curb and gutter, and the method is set forth as follows:
As shown in the top view of FIG. 6 and the side view of FIG. 7, a sunken section 110 is to be raised to the height of an adjacent section 111. As seen in FIGS. 6 and 7, a hole is drilled and a drop-in anchor is set at the center of the top of the curb 112 at a point 113 which is 4 inches (as indicated by arrow a from the end of section 110). A second hole is drilled and an anchor set in the gutter 114 at a point 115 which is 5-6 inches from the curb 112 (as indicated by arrow b). Insert a connector member, such as an eye bolt 116 (only one shown), in each of the anchors and tighten. Place a jack 117 (such as a 6-ton hydraulic jack) on the curb 112' of adjacent section 111 and a similar jack (not shown) on the gutter 114' of adjacent section 111 such that the jacks are opposite the eye bolts 116. Set a pole saddle 118 on each jack 117, and then place the end of an eight foot long 3 inch pole 119 in the saddle 118, as shown in FIG. 7. Position the poles 119 parallel running the length of the curb and gutter section 110 (generally formed in 8 foot long sections). Drape a chain 120 (such as a 5/16 inch metal chain) over each pole 119 and attach each chain to the eye bolt 116 in the curb 112 and gutter 114 using a removable member (such as a 7/16 inch grade eight bolt and nut 121). Be certain that the chain 120 is pulling straight up on the eye bolt 116, and jack up the pole 119 until both chains 120 are taut. Then jack both jacks 117 in tandem until the curb and gutter section 110 starts to move up from its original position (indicated at 122). Keep jacking until the effort increases and there is no observable raising movement of the sunken section 110 (such as indicated as the 1st lift 123). Allow the section 110 to set at the first lift 123 for 30 seconds to one minute so as to relax and push on both adjacent slabs or sections 110 and 111. Release the jacks 117 and allow the section 110 to move down half way from the 1st lift position 123. Reset the jacks 117 and jack back up to the 2nd lift position 124. Allow the section 110 to set for 30 seconds to one minute, release the jacks and lower the section 110 to half way, reset the jacks, and continue the above sequence of operations. Each iteration yields more motion or upward movement of the section 110. Alternatively, after section 110 is up 1.25 inch, insert injection pump hose and allow the pumped mud to assist in raising. When the section 110 has been raised to the level of the adjacent section 111, dig out the grass and dirt next to the curb 112 (as indicated at 125 in FIG. 8) about six inches from the end of section 110. In cases where the curb 112 is adjacent a sidewalk, for example, an alternate injection hole 126 must be drilled in the gutter 114, as shown in FIG. 8. If using the hole 125, place a section of hose in the hole 125 so as to extend into the cavity under section 110 to about one third the way across the gutter 114. Attach the hose to the discharge line 14 of the portable mud pump 10 of FIGS. 1A-1B, for example, and pump mud or grout into the cavity under the section 110 until section 110 is held up without the jacks 117. Remove the hose and replace the dirt and grass so as to fill hole 125. Remove the jacks, poles and eye bolts. If desired, the anchors in the curb 112 and gutter 114 may be filled with a filler type cement. FIG. 9 illustrates filling a cavity 127 using the alternate injection hole 126 of FIG. 8, wherein a riser 128 for the portable mud pump discharge line 14 is inserted into hole 126 and the cavity is filled with mud, as above described. The mud or grout may, for example, be composed of a mixture of sand, cement and lime, using 80% sand, 10% cement, and 10% lime, with an initial set up time of 3 to 6 hours and curing time of 24 to 36 hours. Also, a mixture of 80% sand, 15% clay, and 5% lime has been used satisfactorily. The mud mixture is generally made and placed in the tank of the mud pump at the time of use to prevent setting up of the mud in the tank. Also, after each use, if there is extended time until the next use, at least the tank of the mud pump should be emptied.
The following is a description of a method for raising sidewalk sections and other flat slabs using the portable mud pump to fill cavities and maintain the slabs in the raised position:
It has thus been shown that the present invention provides a method and apparatus for raising concrete members such as curb and gutter sections and flat sections including sidewalks, driveways, patios, etc. A principle component of the apparatus involved is a small portable mud or group pump that delivers sufficient pressure and flow rate of mud to effectively carry out the method of the invention. The mud pump can be readily carried in a corner of a pickup truck bed and is easily cleaned and maintained, with the electricity supplied by the 12V truck battery, for example, or 110V ac rectified to 12V dc, and the air for driving the mud pump being supplied by a small air compressor.
While specific embodiments, materials, parameters, etc. have been illustrated and/or described to exemplify and teach the principles of the invention, such are not intended to be limiting. Modifications and changes may become apparent to those skilled in the art, and it is intended that the invention be limited only by the scope of the appended claims.
FIGS. 1A and 1B schematically illustrate the intake stroke and the power stroke of an embodiment of a portable mud pump of the present invention.
FIG. 2 partially illustrates an enlarged view of an embodiment of an air cylinder of the mud pump of FIGS. 1A and 1B, with internal components illustrated by dash lines.
FIG. 3 partially illustrates an embodiment of a pump body of the mud pump of FIGS. 1A and 1B, and is constructed to be attached to the air cylinder of FIG. 2, as indicated by the dash-dot line.
FIGS. 4A and 4B illustrate an embodiment of an air valve assembly of the mud pump of FIGS. 1A and 1B, with FIG. B illustrating an enlargement of the internal shaft of FIG. 4A, as indicated by the dash-dot line.
FIG. 5 schematically illustrates a control system for the various components of FIGS. 2, 3 and 4A-4B.
FIG. 6 is a plan or top view of adjoining sections of a concrete curb and gutter with one section sunken, and illustrating drill holes for the lifting apparatus.
FIG. 7 is a side view of the curb and gutter sections of FIG. 6 and illustrating the lifting apparatus and an operational lifting sequence in accordance with the present invention.
FIG. 8 illustrates a top view of the curb and gutter sections of FIG. 7 with an adjacent hole, or alternate injection hole, for mud or grout insertion below the lifted curb and gutter section.
FIG. 9 illustrates a side view of the FIG. 6 curb and gutter section showing the cavity formed by lifting the sunken section being filled with mud or grout from a pump hose end coupler of the portable mud pump of FIGS. 1A-1B.
The present invention relates to concrete raising, more particularly to a method and apparatus for raising concrete members and maintaining same in the new position by the use of a mud or grout, and more particularly to a portable mud pump for introducing the mud or grout into a cavity under the raised concrete member.
Generally when concrete or cement members such as flat slabs, sidewalk sections, driveways, patios, steps, and curb and gutter sections sink due to a settling of soil thereunder, etc., the sections of concrete are removed and new concrete poured, which is time consuming, costly and additionally requires the disposal of the removed concrete sections.
The present invention provides a solution to the problem of sunken concrete members and involves raising the members whereby such need not be removed and replaced. In the case of sunken concrete members, the member is lifted to its original position, or slightly higher, and a mud or grout is pumped into the cavity beneath the raised concrete member which functions to retain the member in its raised position. The mud pump produces sufficient pressure that in some instances the pumped mud will raise the concrete member.
Mud or slurry pumps are well known, as exemplified by U.S. Pat. No. 4,718,826 issued Jan. 12, 1988, No. 3,326,135 issued Jun. 20, 1967, No. 3,507,347 issued Apr. 21, 1970, and No. 4,500,267 issued Feb. 19, 1985. These prior mud pumps are either large units (not readily portable) or are small, manually operated, low volume units. The mud pump of the present invention is readily portable, small enough to fit in a corner of a pickup truck, delivers a sufficient pressure and flow rate of mud, and is easily cleaned and maintained. The portable mud pump of this invention basically consists of an air cylinder, pump body and reversing valve assembly. The remaining apparatus for carrying out the method of the present invention includes conventional concrete drills, lifting jacks, lifting members, chains and couplers. Utilizing the method and apparatus of the present invention, concrete or cement members can be repositioned to their original position in less time and at less cost than by removal and replacement.
It is an object of the present invention to provide a method and apparatus for repositioning concrete members to their original position.
A further object of the invention is to provide for raising and/or leveling concrete members.
A further object of the invention is to provide a method and apparatus for raising sunken concrete members, which includes providing a mud or grout thereunder for maintaining the member in its raised position.
Another object of the invention is to provide a method for raising concrete members carried out by drilling one or more tap holes in the concrete member, positioning a connector member in the tap, connecting a lifting apparatus to the connection member, lifting the concrete member and pumping mud into a cavity under the lifted member for maintaining the member in its original position.
Another object of the invention is to provide a portable mud pump which is of small size yet delivers sufficient pressure and flow rate to effectively fill cavities under raised concrete members, and is easily cleaned and maintained.
Another object of the invention is to provide a small, portable grout or mud pump basically consisting of an air cylinder and connected pump body having a double acting piston therein, and a reversing valve assembly connected to a mud or grout supply tank via a check valve.
Other objects and advantages of the present invention will become apparent from the following description and accompanying drawings. The present invention basically involves repositioning of concrete or a cement member to its original position. The method and apparatus of the present invention may be utilized to return the member to its original location, and fill the cavity thereunder with a mud or grout which maintains the member in its original position. The apparatus for raising or leveling a concrete member includes conventional concrete drills, insert members, lifting devices, chains, and a portable mud pump for filling the cavities under the lifted concrete members. The portable mud pump is small and fits very easily in a corner of a pickup truck bed, delivers a sufficient pressure and flow rate of mud to enable filling of cavities under concrete members, and is easily cleaned and maintained. The mud pump basically comprises an air cylinder (with a reciprocating piston), pump body, and a reversing valve assembly. The reciprocating piston is pneumatically driven and mud is drawn from a supply tank into the pump body on the intake stroke, and that same mud is pumped or forced from the pump body by the piston or ram on the output stroke through a hose into the cavity or point of use. At the end of each stroke, a limit switch actuates an air valve assembly which reverses the air flow direction and thus the direction of movement of the reciprocating piston within the pump body which provides a substantial flow of mud to the point of use.